A row of barrels in the Relic cave.

2014 Old Vines Petite Sirah

Every passing year, we increasingly appreciate the blessing of being able to work with such historic fruit as that at Alfred Frediani’s vineyard. This vineyard is adjacent to Eisele, Kenefick, Kelly Flemming and Hundred Acre. It shares many of the characteristics of those vineyards as it sits in the same alluvial fan, which spills vertiginously out of the canyon on either side of Symmons Creek. ‘Rocky’ does not begin to describe the soil, as it is nearly simply rock. 2014 was good to these dry-farmed, 1939 plantings, which remain healthy with very little virus. Yields were great, giving us more of this wine than we have ever been able to offer before – a whopping 13 barrels. In general, this vineyard produces finesse-driven Petite Sirah, but the yields loosened up the structure slightly more than normal. Kaleidoscopic aromatics display classic earth, spice, floral and rich fruit notes, while the broad palate shows more length and finesse than 2013 or 2012. The finish displays the kind of intensity we know as the hallmark of a long life ahead.

  • 100% Petite Sirah
  • Planted by Alfred in 1939
  • Organically farmed since the beginning
  • Dry farmed
  • Incredibly rocky, volcanic soil adjacent to Eisele Vineyard in Calistoga
  • Unfined and unfiltered
  • 333 cases produced

A 30-year wine at minimum is the 2014 Petite Sirah Old Vines, which comes from the Frediani Vineyard in Calistoga that was planted in 1939. This wine spent 21 months in half new French oak barrel. Petite Sirah lovers will go crazy over this wine, which is inky purple in color and offers up notes of graphite, white flowers, black raspberry and blueberry fruit, a full-bodied mouthfeel, terrific extraction and richness, but also impressive purity and sweet tannin. Drink it over the next 25-30+ years.
Robert Parker
The Wine Advocate #228
December 2016